American media outlets are having a grand old time playing around with the reporting of Republican presidential nominee Herman Cain’s ‘9-9-9’ tax plan, having switched on to its correlation with the popular town planning video game Sim City 4.

Cain’s tax plan consists of a corporate tax rate of 9 percent, a personal tax rate of 9 percent and a national sales rate of 9 percent. As The Huffington Post spotted: “there’s already a 999 plan out there, in a land called Sim City.” The game’s default tax settings are the same as Cain’s, and in case there was any confusion, The Huff Post’s scorching exposé (ahem) included a screenshot from the 2003 best-seller.

The Washington Post questioned whether Cain might be “a secret gamer”. Time contemplated whether Sim City could be a useful predictor for the financial impacts of the 9-9-9 plan before conceding that, given the game also features a range of natural disasters, UFOs and attacks from giant liazards, it “would probably mess up most attempts at realistic modeling.”

A senior producer from Sim City’s production company, Maxis, was chuffed by the idea that politicians may be adopting video game strategies. He told the Huff Po: “we encourage politicians to continue to look to innovative games like Sim City for inspiration for social and economic change.” 

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey